Andres, Atom and other local Greenways leaders prepare to do small business outreach along Roosevelt in 2013. Side note, two other Greenways leaders pictured here are now fathers — Orion and Alma’s dads also want safer, healthier streets for their new babies.
November 2 2016
Atom, the little tyke in the photo, was not quite two years old in 2013 when his dad, Andres, got together with a group of other safe streets advocates from NE Seattle Greenways and University Greenways to run a campaign to turn the Roosevelt Way NE repaving project into the Roosevelt Way NE repaving and Protected Bike Lane project.
The group pictured here, plus a few others, went out and talked to small businesses about the business benefits of having slower traffic, safer places for people to bike and walk, and great public spaces in the Roosevelt neighborhood.
Thanks to their focused local campaign, and the local business support it generated, Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT)decided late in 2014 to turn Roosevelt into one of Seattle’s premiere Complete Streets.
Fast forward three years. Atom is five and the Roosevelt Way NE Protected Bike Lane will officially open, this Saturday, November 5 2016.Kidical Mass riders will wield the scissors at a grand ribbon-cutting event with SDOT around noon at the University Food Bank 5017 Roosevelt Way NE.
Meet Andres, Max, Scott, Bob, Orion, Forrest, Drew, Alma, Madi, Rjider, Brandt, Barbara, Hank, and many more of the people who made this project possible for this generation and for future generations.
If you want to join the Kidical Mass Ride, come to at Mighty-O Donuts 2110 N 55th at 10:30 AM
Otherwise, join the fun ribbon-cutting at University Food Bank 5017 Roosevelt Way NE at noon!
What I thought was: “Ugh – this is going to be unpleasant.”
It was. I just sat in the roadway for a few minutes, stunned, bleeding all over myself.
I live in Seattle’s University District because I go to school at the University of Washington – I’m in the final year of a Ph.D. program in environmental policy. I’ve always believed in making the world a better place. Bicycling is a part of that, and it’s almost always how I get around. On this particular night I was on my way to see the premiere of a play in Capitol Hill’s Annex Theatre.
Congratulations to Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle Department of Transportation Director Scott Kubly, Seattle City Council Transportation Committee members Tom Rasmussen (Chair), Jean Godden, and Mike O’Brien for their bold leadership and vision that will soon make Roosevelt Way NE safer for everyone.
Every year the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) takes on the necessary task of keeping our busy streets in good repair by repaving and restriping them. In 2013, for example, SDOT completed a technically excellent job of repaving and updating two miles of N/NW 85th St. from Greenwood to I-5 through a dense residential and commercial corridor at a cost of about $12 million. N/NW 85th St. now moves car and bus traffic more efficiently and we’ve protected the roadway of a heavily used corridor by doing needed maintenance.
The newly formed Licton Springs/Haller Lake Greenwaysgroup, that recently received a prestigious National Parks Service Rivers Trails & Conservation Assistance Award, takes issue with how tax dollars were spent on N/NW 85th, which remains a fast-moving, vehicle-centric corridor that is difficult for people walking and biking to navigate.
With a large new school opening soon [Wilson Pacific] and North Seattle College, what we need is to create safer crossings, including at least one additional signaled crossing (with turning movements restricted) in conjunction with a new greenway that extends from the schools, across 85th and to the south.
SDOT didn’t do just a paving overlay, in most places they removed the old paving down to the base course and in many places took it down much further and put in a new base course, sometimes clear to subgrade. They did utility drainage, sewer & water system work, put in new curbs, replaced asphalt with new concrete panels in many high-weight bus areas and the road was closed in sections for many months. Incidentally, the project was not just an SDOT project, and significant costs also appear in Seattle Public Utilities & City Light budgets in addition to the SDOT budget.
There’s absolutely no excuse for such major work not to be planned and constructed with ALL the public needs evaluated and to plan for as many of those needs as possible, including for the needs of people walking and biking. To do otherwise is horribly short-sighted and will result in SDOT chasing its tail ad infinitum. It’s a lot less expensive to do the work at one time rather than building it then coming back to tear it up to rebuild it.” Lee Bruch, Licton Springs/Haller Lake Greenways leader
Which brings us back to the Roosevelt Way NE Arterial Repaving Project slated for 2015. Thanks to the focused advocacy work and petition from University Greenways, what would have been simply another generic repaving project now includes safety improvements for people who walk and bike.
The bad news is that these safety improvements are not funded to continue past NE 45th. While Roosevelt is currently a highly used street for walking and biking (even with bike lanes in the door zone), walking and biking and crossing the street will grow exponentially in this corridor with the current boom in residential construction and the Light Rail Stations opening on 45th and 65th in 2021.
Rather than retrofitting Roosevelt Way NE for this additional walking and biking traffic, let’s use this repaving project to complete the street now.
Our #Fix65th coalition and Councilmember Johnson’s support were just what was needed to make #fix65th a priority for Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), and late in 2016 the City funded and began to plan for a safer, more functional street.
Making NE 65th a great street for people who walk, bike, take the bus, shop, go to school, and live is even more critical now than ever with the Roosevelt Light Rail Station due to open in 2021.
photo: Dongho Chang, Seattle City Chief Traffic Engineer
Make sure to attend the next SDOT #Fix65th Open House on May 18 to see what else is in the works for 2017. If you can’t attend the May 18 meeting, SDOT has an on-line survey up in May to record your ideas as well.
SDOT Open House to #Fix65th
When: Thursday May 18, 2017 from 6 to 8 PM
Where: Roosevelt High School, 1410 NE 66th St
Who: Everyone who lives, works, plays, or travels along NE 65th St.
What: Review concept plans for 2017 safety and see what’s already been improved
Sixty years ago, Seattle’s streets were radically remade with the goal of moving vehicles as quickly as possible: sidewalks were narrowed, crosswalk beg buttons installed, an extensive streetcar system dismantled, low income homes bulldozed for roads, and speed limits increased. Ever since we have been paying dearly for these mistakes.
Today there were 30 crashes on Seattle’s streets. Same with yesterday, tomorrow, and every day on average. Every year 150 people suffer life altering injuries and 20 are killed from these crashes. Each serious injury and fatality is a story of tragedy for individuals, families, friends, and communities.
One day, Brie Gyncild had had enough. Brie lives in the Central District, walks everywhere, loves cats, deeply cares about her community, and is a passionate advocate who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. At the annual meeting where our grassroots neighborhood group leaders set our priorities, Brie reminded us all that Vision Zero isn’t just a goal to end traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030, it’s a commitment to transform our streets into safe places for people. She persuaded us that the next step was safer speed limits.
One person can spark a movement. Because of Brie, in 2016 Seattle Neighborhood Greenways mobilized people just like you throughout the city to build support for safer speed limits by talking to their neighbors, community groups, and local business owners. By the end of the year 22 groups had sent the Mayor and City Council letters of support, dozens people testified to City Council, and hundreds who emailed or called in their support.
Our advocates continued to build positive support until the Mayor and City Council voted proposed and unanimously approved safer speed limits. Now all 2,400 miles of Seattle’s non-arterial streets are designated for 20 MPH, and all of Downtown’s streets have been designated for 25 MPH.
The story isn’t over yet. We all know that designating new speed limits isn’t enough – we must design our streets to be safe and comfortable for people of all ages and abilities. That’s why in 2017 one of our priorities is to increase funding for the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Vision Zero safety program. This is only one piece of the puzzle, another piece is you.
We all want our children to be able to safely walk or bike to school. Unfortunately, there is limited funding for engineering safety improvements at all of our schools. Seattle Neighborhood Greenways (SNG) interns Ranju Uezono and Raymond Pacheco led SNG outreach to very low income schools in 2016 to help prioritize spending in ways that were meaningful and effective to local communities.
SNG also worked with historically underserved school communities to develop a set of ideas, translated into 6 languages, of Low Cost Ideas for SDOT Mini Grants. Schools are now working on crossing flag programs, school patrols, walking audits, and other inexpensive but highly effective programs.
The SNG staff and interns also hosted assemblies, led walk audits, and met with parents and school staff to create a prioritized list of the investments that local people felt was most needed most to get their children to school safely. All of this work helped to shape the major projects being built with Move Seattle Levy funding by Seattle Department of Transportation at Seattle’s low income schools.
Read more about the SNG Safe Routes to School 2016 priority program here.
In 2016 we advocated for policy and street projects that create safe access for all people.
On the policy side we worked to ensure that Seattle’s Comprehensive Master Plan (the highest level plan the city has), Right of Way Improvement Manaul (blue prints for street design), and other policies and plans supported complete streets.
After years of advocacy work by University Greenways we finally celebrated the opening of the Roosevelt Way complete street project. Originally SDOT planned to only repave the
Families open the Roosevelt Way Complete Street project. Photo by SBB
dangerous street, but we successfully advocated to include safety upgrades for people walking and biking. The biggest change you’ll see on the street if you visit is the new protected bike lane, curb bulbs to make it easier to walk across the street, and more happy families getting to where they need to go safetly.
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, along with our local groups and partners, have been advocating for multimodal corridor projects to fund walking and biking improvements – not just transit. We worked on the Roosevelt-Downtown corridor and Madison BRT projects in 2016, and we will continue to make sure these and other projects truly work for everyone in 2017.
The SW Admiral Way safety project on the west side, including buffered bike lanes, new cross walks, narrower traffic lanes, and radar speed feedback signs was completed.
West Seattle Bike Connections successfully campaigned to get full funding for the Fauntleroy Boulevard Project added to the 2017 budget. This project will make this currently dangerous corridor a safer place for people walking, biking, taking transit, and driving.
West Seattle Bike Connections successfully campaigned to repair a problematic hazard spot on the Duwamish Trail. Jump back to the top
Building the Base for Big Change in Rainier Valley and Beacon Hill (District 2)
Thanks to you we achieved three major wins in 2016 in Rainier Valley and Beacon Hill: full funding for the expansion of the Rainier Ave Safety project to Rainier Beach, acceleration Accessible Mt Baker, and funding to improve the Beacon Hill Town Center.
Fix Rainier Ave
Rainier Ave S has been Seattle’s most dangerous street for years. Rainier Valley Greenways worked for the second year in a row to make Rainier Ave S safe for people to walk and bike along and across. We sought to expand the safety corridor project, create safe crossings and build protected bike lanes from Hillman City to Columbia City.
A year after the implementation in Hillman and Columbia City, the data shows the Rainier Ave Safety Corridor Project is working: injuries for people walking and biking are down 41%, top end speeding is down 50% northbound and 84% southbound, and transit travel times haven’t changed southbound and have improved northbound.
But we knew there was more to be done. All neighborhoods in Rainier Valley deserve a safer Rainier Ave S, not just Columbia and Hillman City. That’s why we rallied with other neighborhood groups from Friends of Mt Baker Town Center to Rainier Beach Merchants Association to extend the safety corridor project. Thanks to your help, we successfully worked with Bruce Harrell to get a million dollars added for the project to the City’s budget!
Accessible Mt Baker
We worked with the Friends of Mt Baker Town Center and the Mt Baker Hub Business Association to successfully accelerate funding for the exciting community building and safety project, Accessible Mt Baker. Accessible Mt Baker will fix this nasty and dangerous intersection. It will make it easier to catch the bus, bike to downtown, and walk across the street to the light rail station or high school.
Beacon Hill Town Center
Beacon Hill Safe Streets got interim safety improvements in front of the library and transit station
Beacon Hill Safe Streets successfully advocated this year to improve the heart of North Beacon Hill. They worked with the Beacon Hill Merchants Association and the community to get the city to implement near term pedestrian safety improvements (the new curb bulbs by the library), create a transportation plan in 2017. Their efforts will make it safer to catch transit, easier to walk and bike to the library and stores, and create a thriving and accessible town center for all.
8 Steps Forward for Capitol Hill, the Central District, and Madison Valley (District 3)
Thank you to everyone who helped our local groups take so many steps forward this year! We couldn’t have done it without everyone who volunteered for Central Seattle Greenways, Madison Greenways, or the First Hill Improvement Association. We hope you will continue to support this important work 2017, but first let’s reflect on what we accomplished together:
Thanks to our auditing and advocacy SDOT is planning to improve the Central North-South Neighborhood Greenway – such as smoothing jarring speed humps, correcting signs, and connecting it successfully to Montlake where it currently dead ends.
Central Seattle Greenways worked with the cool community at Bailey Gatzert to win safe routes to school improvements. The curb bulb and stop sign change at 14th & Washington will make it much safer.
The First Hill Improvement Association worked with a developer to include building and maintaining a public plaza Pavement To Parks project.
Andres Salomon and Scott Cooper were awarded Northeast District Council support during the Neighborhood Park & Street Fund process in 2016.
Andres and Scott know crossing i-5 is important for people of all ages walking to and from Green Lake Elementary, grocery stores, senior housing, Roosevelt High School, local business districts, and many other other important community assets. Andres and Scott know these community connections will become even more important when light rail opens in Roosevelt in 2021.
In addition to support from NE District Council, Andres and Scott have successfully lobbied WSDOT and SDOT to consider safety improvements over and under I-5 that use paint and posts to control traffic speeds.
More safe and dignified I-5 crossings in 2017 are being planned by the coalition that includes NE Seattle Greenways and neighbors who want to #Fix65th.
Making Connections Across North Seattle (District 5)
Lee Bruch from Licton Haller Greenways gathered a coalition of people from Greenwood Phinney Greenways, Aurora Licton Urban Village and other community groups that wanted to make sure 1600 kids had a safe way to walk to the new Robert Eagle Staff school opening in 2017. Their campaign center around safe routes to school along N 90th and 92nd Streets.
Lee and his team did walking and biking audits, gave presentations to local councils, and reached out to neighbors. They found sympathetic staff at the Washington Department of Transportation, Seattle Department of Transportation, and Seattle Public Schools who shared their vision.
Licton-Haller Greenwood Phinney Greenways received both a Neighborhood Park & Street Fund and Neighborhood Street Fund award for their work. Their hard work resulted in more than $1 million for street improvements including a signal on Aurora Avenue North.
In 2017, the coalition of District 5 safe streets groups is turning their attention to getting funding for safer routes to the new transit stations opening soon in Northgate, 130th N and 145th N. Stay tuned!
In 2015 and 2016, Ballard Greenways made safer routes to school along 6th Ave NW their highest priority. Students at four elementary schools — Pacific Crest, West Woodland, Greenwood and St. John’s — would benefit from a north-south route on the eastern side of Ballard.
West Woodland neighbors led policy walks, talked to City staff and elected officials, and tried to get Neighborhood Park & Street funding for their safer route to schools.
In 2015, Ballard Greenways leader, dad, and Alta Design & Planning landscape architect Chris Saleeba took a slightly different approach. He worked with a group of neighbors and business owners on a Tactical Urbanism project to let people in Ballard experience a safer route to local schools. Chris’s design won the first PARKing Day Plus Design Competition award and neighbors got to see a safer crossing at 6th Ave NW and NW 65th.
2nd Prize Winner 6th NW & NW 65th Street Crossing
This year, Chris has been helping Seattle Department of Transportation to build this clever protected intersection permanently in the West Woodland Ballard neighborhood.
The D6 district, that also includes Greenwood-Phinney, is looking to make another protected intersection work better for people who walk and ride bikes at NW 83rd and Greenwood NW in 2017.
7 Wins this year for Queen Anne, Uptown, and District 7
Walking surges! Pedestrian commuters increased a stunning 50.2% reports the SeattleMet. And this isn’t starting from a small base: “people who walked to work went from a legit 29,070 (8.6 percent of all commuters) in 2010 to 43,665 (nearly 11 percent) in 2015.” Thank you for your work to make our streets more walkable – it’s working!
Queen Anne Greenways successfully advocated for the city to build the direct connection between the Westlake bike path and the Mercer St underpass. This connection will be built when the property that is currently owned by the city between 9th and Dexter is redeveloped. We also applied for a grant to upgrade the Roy St bike lane, but were unsuccessful this year.
Photo of Mercer St underpass by SBB
The First Hill Improvement Association won a grant to make Freeway Park more accessible and welcoming.
Freeway Park Entrances
Queen Anne Greenways hosted a community building play street.
Finally, the intersection at 7th and McGraw near Cole Elementary got some safety improvements – a wider crosswalk and curb.
We worked to make to incorporate safety improvements for people walking in the Nickerson St repaving.
Last, but not least, Queen Anne Greenways continues to work with SDOT on designs to fix the scary 7-way intersection on Queen Anne.
Lake City/Northgate10AM Kaffeeklatsch 12513 Lake City Way NE
Queen Anne/Magnolia 10AM Starbucks 2135 Queen Anne Ave N
Ravenna/Roosevelt10AM Third Place Cafe 6504 20th Ave NE
West Seattle 10AM Ampersand Café 2536 Alki Ave SW
Rainier Valley 10:15AM Bike Works 3711 S Hudson St. (back entrance to warehouse)
Duwamish Valley noon Oxbow Park (Hat & Boots) 6430 Corson Ave S
The City Hall event is open to the public and will recognize attendees from Seattle Fire, Seattle King County Public Health Department, Washington Traffic Safety Commission, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as well as families of the victims who have died in traffic in Seattle.
Event co-sponsors include Vision Zero Seattle, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Cascade Bicycle Club, Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Washington Bike Law
To honor those who have lost their lives to traffic violence on Seattle’s streets, we will be putting up silhouettes all across the city.
We will meet for a Citywide Memorial on Thursday November 17 at 12:00 noon, in the lobby of City Hall. We will distribute 240 silhouettes representing people who have died in Seattle on our streets in traffic in the past 10 years, and highlight the need for safe streets in our city.
On Sunday, November 20, families and groups around Seattle will install all of the silhouettes at local events.
This a difficult time for many of us right now. World Day of Remembrance, while not a joyous event, is something that we can come together on, as well as to help raise awareness among our friends and neighbors.
World Day of Remembrance is not a political event, but it is the kind of community building and coming together process that will help us keep America great. Thank you for joining us.
Thank you to the staff at United Reprographics for manufacturing these silhouettes.